By Hilary Faxon and Adrienne Wong
- Youku.com, one of China’s two largest video sharing sites, announced at midnight last night that it has closed a funding round of $30 million. Youku said in a statement that it netted $30 million from existing investors Farallon, Sutter Hill, Chengwei, and Brookside, and an additional $10 million in venture debt from Western Technology Investment. According to Nielsen/NetRatings, Youku has more than 100 million video views a day. Ku6.com also received US$30 million in an earlier announcement, while 56.com continues to remain out of luck.
- Internet Society of China chairman Hu Qiheng has urged websites to clean up their act in time for the August Olympics. Fifty websites have backed the initiative, which is geared towards encouraging increased efficiency and morality on the web — improving services, suppressing pornography, spam and viruses, and resisting “bad habits.”
- Shanghai dominates the Chinese computer game industry, generating about 70% of the country’s total revenue in the industry last year. It plans to continue leading the way this year, not only in profit, but also in policy, with the release of the Shanghai Municipal Network Games Industry Service Standard. Insiders say the new standard, the first of its kind in that nation, will target inadequate client service and unhealthy content, especially that which does “harm to teenagers’ mental and physical health.”
- EastSouthWestNorth points out an interesting phenomenon that followed the Weng’an mass riots on Saturday. While posts related to the riots were immediately deleted by administrators at Tianya, Sina.com, Sohu.com, and Baidu, they did allow Netizens to vent their outrage at the Xinhua story. Threads following the post of the official Xinhua news story were highly critical of the government in Guizhou and the Xinhua release itself, but webmasters allowed these comments to run freely. “Is this the plan for the future?” ESWN wonders. Blogging for China is also curious: “Is this a new trend, or just an accident?”
- A China Youth Daily survey conducted after President Hu Jintao made his first online public chat on June 20 found that 70 percent of over 2,800 Chinese surveyed believe that the Internet has become a new medium for Chinese citizens to freely express their opinions. Shanghai Daily reports that about 62 percent of respondents felt that President Hu Jintao’s online chat was a good example of Chinese democracy, and more than half of the respondents believed the chat “created history.”
- A new report from the China Internet Network Information Center has found that 40 percent of China’s 73 million new Netizens come from rural areas. The rate of growth in China’s rural areas is “an emerging force to drive the continuous growth of Internet in China,” China Economic Net states. The report also found that while the number of Netizens in rural areas is increasing, the amount of information available to them on the Internet about their towns and villages is very low.